- Russell Ira Crowe
April 07, 1964 (age 56)
- Actor, Singer, Musician, Film Producer
- Danielle Spencer
- John Alexander Crowe, Jocelyn Yvonne Crowe
Russell Ira Crowe (born 7 April 1964) is a New Zealand-born Australian actor, film producer and musician. He came to international attention for his role as the Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, an Empire Award for Best Actor and a London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and 10 further nominations for best actor. Crowe appeared as the tobacco firm whistle blower Jeffrey Wigand in the 1999 film The Insider, for which he received five awards as best actor and seven nominations in the same category. In 2001, Crowe's portrayal of mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John F. Nash in the biopic A Beautiful Mind brought him numerous awards, including an BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor category Motion Picture Drama and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
Crowe's other films include Romper Stomper (1992), L.A. Confidential (1997), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Cinderella Man (2005), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), American Gangster (2007), Body of Lies (2008), Robin Hood (2010), The Next Three Days (2010), Les Misérables (2012), Man of Steel (2013), Winter's Tale (2014) and Noah (2014). Crowe's work has earned him several accolades during his career including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three consecutive Academy Award nominations (1999–2001), one Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, one BAFTA, and an Academy Award. He is the co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, an Australian National Rugby League team.
Crowe was born on 7 April 1964 in Wellington, New Zealand, the son of Jocelyn Yvonne (née Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom were movie set caterers; his father also managed a hotel. Crowe's maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who was named an MBE for filming footage of World War II. Crowe's paternal grandfather, John Doubleday Crowe, was from Wrexham, Wales, while one of Crowe's maternal great-great-grandmothers was Māori. Crowe also has Scottish, Norwegian, English, and German ancestry. He is a cousin of former New Zealand cricket captains Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe.
When Crowe was four years old, his family moved to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, where his parents pursued a career in film set catering. The producer of the Australian TV series Spyforce was his mother's godfather, and Crowe at age five or six was hired for a line of dialogue in one episode, opposite series star Jack Thompson (in 1994 Thompson played Crowe's father in The Sum of Us). Crowe also appeared briefly in serial The Young Doctors. Crowe was educated at the Sydney Boys High School. When he was 14, his family moved back to New Zealand where, along with his brother Terry, he attended Auckland Grammar School with cousins Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe. He then continued his secondary education at Mount Roskill Grammar School, which he left at the age 16 to pursue his ambitions and childhood dreams of becoming an actor.
Crowe began his performing career as a musician in the mid-1980s, under guidance from his good friend Tom Sharplin, when he performed as a rock and roll revivalist, under the stage name "Russ Le Roq". He had a New Zealand single with "I Just Want To Be Like Marlon Brando". He managed an Auckland music venue called "The Venue" in the mid-1980s.
Crowe returned to Australia at age 21, intending to apply to the National Institute of Dramatic Art. "I was working in a theatre show, and talked to a guy who was then the head of technical support at NIDA", Crowe has recalled. "I asked him what he thought about me spending three years at NIDA. He told me it'd be a waste of time. He said, 'You already do the things you go there to learn, and you've been doing it for most of your life, so there's nothing to teach you but bad habits.'" From 1986 to 1988, he was given his first professional role by director Daniel Abineri, in a production of The Rocky Horror Show. He played the role of Eddie/Dr Scott. He repeated this performance in a further Australian production of the show. In 1987, Crowe spent six months busking when he could not find other work. In the 1988 Australian production of Blood Brothers, Crowe played the role of Mickey.
After appearing in the TV series Neighbours and Living with the Law, Crowe was cast by Faith Martin in his first film, The Crossing (1990), a small-town love triangle directed by George Ogilvie. Before production started, a film-student protégé of Ogilvie, Steve Wallace, hired Crowe for the film Blood Oath (1990) (aka Prisoners of the Sun), which was released a month earlier than The Crossing, although actually filmed later.
After initial success in Australia, Crowe first starred in a Canadian production in 1993, For the Moment, before concentrating on American films. He co-starred with Denzel Washington in Virtuosity (the duo later appearing together in American Gangster) and with Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead in 1995. He went on to become a three-time Oscar nominee, winning the Academy Award as Best Actor in 2000 for Gladiator. Crowe was awarded the (Australian) Centenary Medal in 2001 for "service to Australian society and Australian film production."
Crowe received three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations, for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind. Crowe won the best actor award for A Beautiful Mind at the 2002 BAFTA award ceremony, as well as the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for the same performance. However, he failed to win the Oscar that year, losing to Denzel Washington. It has been suggested by the Guardian and Entertainment Weekly that his attack on television producer Malcolm Gerrie for cutting short his acceptance speech may have turned voters against him.
All three films were also nominated for best picture, and both Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind won the award.
Crowe began an on-again, off-again relationship with Australian singer Danielle Spencer in 1989, when they co-starred in the 1990 film The Crossing. Crowe and Spencer reconciled in 2001 and married on 7 April 2003 (Crowe's 39th birthday) at Crowe's cattle property in Nana Glen, New South Wales. They have two sons: Charles Spencer Crowe (born 21 December 2003) and Tennyson Spencer Crowe (born 7 July 2006). In October 2012, it was reported that Crowe and Spencer had separated.
In 2000, Crowe was romantically involved with his co-star Meg Ryan while on the set of their film Proof of Life.